Like a halo round her head,
Lay her lovely golden hair,
Her crowning beauty folks had said,
And she, in deed, was truly fair.
Not too many men had seen her,
Only dire events brought her to view,
And those that had and lived to tell it,
Were among the very few.
Her tale repeated in the taverns,
Between gulps of brew and ale,
Hearty seamen swapping stories,
That made landlubbers pale.
Young sailors scoffed in disbelief,
When an old Captain growled and said,
"Aye, lads, I'm here to tell ya',
If it weren't for her, I would be dead."
"It was off a South Sea Island,
In a blasted hurricane,
The ship went down; we all were gone,
Not a one of us remained."
"Aye, lads, that's when I saw her,
The mermaid with the golden hair,
Swimming with a silver dolphin,
Aye, a most unlikely pair."
"Somehow, between the two of them,
They got me to the shore,
And then they just swam off,
Behind the sea wall's door."
"The next morning then I saw them,
Cavorting in the sea,
I could hardly believe my eyes,
I thought this cannot be."
"Then later, when the tide rolled in,
Those two swam on in, too,
And they carried me back home with them,
Beneath those waters blue."
"Oh, such a sight awaited me,
Like I'd never seen before,
A castle built of seaweed,
Filled with ocean gems galore."
"Tiny starfish pins and brooches,
Polished amber finger rings,
Coral necklaces and sashes,
Pearls in white and black earrings."
"Seashells of many sizes,
Different hues and different shapes,
Some so thin one could see through them,
Others ... dense and quite opaque."
"Chests of treasures packed in sand,
Salvaged from old pirate ships,
Ancient coins of solid gold,
Crosses, crowns, and bracelets."
"The dolphin and the mermaid then,
Swam side by side with glee,
Each having such a grand time,
As they teased and played with me."
"I'd reach out to touch them,
But they quickly swam away,
The dolphin smiled, the mermaid laughed,
Oh, what fun we had that day."
"When the tide moved in again,
They took me back to shore,
Then they disappeared into the sea,
And I watched until I saw no more."
"Soon a tramp steamer picked me up,
In answer to my prayer,
But none aboard would believe my tale,
Of the mermaid with the golden hair. "
"But I'm living proof the story's true,
This creature came in my distress;"
Then, he opened up his billfold,
And pulled out a well-pressed, golden tress.